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Development and Performance Evaluation of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Bridge
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Development and Performance Evaluation of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Bridge
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    Final Report
  • Abstract:
    Fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) have become more popular construction materials in the last decade due to the reduction of material costs. The installation and performance evaluation of the first FRP-wrapped balsa wood bridge in Louisiana is described in this document. A comprehensive instrumentation and loading test scheme is discussed and details are illustrated. The selected bridge structure in this demonstration project will potentially provide a new approach to enhancing the transportation infrastructure in Louisiana. The test bridge is the Pierre Part Bridge located on route LA 70 in Assumption Parish, LADOTD District 61. The instrumentation consisted of regular strain gauges, fiber optic strain and temperature sensors, accelerometers, and acoustic emission sensors. The measured results from each of the gauges are summarized, and comparisons are made between the finite element models of the bridge structure and the field test results. Before placing the instrumentation on the field bridge, extensive laboratory explorations and numerical analysis were conducted and the research results have been documented in this report. Several years after the bridge had been opened to traffic, a delamination in one of the panels was observed. The deck was removed and replaced with a new deck grating. After a visual inspection and discussion with the fabricator, it turned out that a shifting on the top FRP surface in one of the panels occurred while the panel was being infused with epoxy. There is a good reason that less epoxy was infused after the rearranging of the FRP stop surface was carried out, and this could have led to the delamination problem.

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